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tv   Countdown With Keith Olbermann  MSNBC  May 6, 2010 1:00am-2:00am EDT

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>> seriously? could dave foley prove sigh this guy too? >> don't think i'm unaware that kevin mcdonald, or should i say, ivan chovski is one of you. >> all the news and commentary next on "countdown." >> he's crazy! good evening from new york. u.s. counterterrorism officials on twob continents so far unable to link the suspect in the times square bombing to a specific terrorist group or training camp, despite faisal shahzad's claims to authorities tuesday he was trained in pakistan for the attack. our fifth story, the failed plot raising disturbing new questions with, quote, how professional terrorists neutralized when the prime suspect appears to act alone, when methods are, to put it charitiably, crude. in the latest signs that the suspect was less than a master
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criminal, our justice correspondent pete williams reporting in the last few minutes that on the day before the bombing, leaving another car to be his getaway car but law enforcement sources say on the night of the attack he left the keys to the getaway car in the rear door to the nissan suv which forced him to take the train home to connecticut instead. the suspect shahzad today waiving his right to a speedy arrangement, as long as he remains talkative in interrogations, officials say one of his motives for driving the bomb was anger over u.s. targeting of suspected taliban leaders in pakistan with drone attacks, including one that hit close to him while he was there. abc news reporting he claimed his family in pakistan had been
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threatened. interrogators are supposedly dubious about that. other officials telling the associated press they have so far been unable to verify statements by shahzad that he got bomb making training at a pakistani terror camp and have not linked him to any group. one senior counterterrorism official telling nbc news it appears more needles are pointing toward the pakistani taliban. the group originally having taken responsibility for saturday's attempted attack, officials having said there was no evidence that that was true. however, a spokesman for the pakistani taliban today telling cnn that the group did not train shahzad. but the reuters news agency citing a law enforcement source saying investigators believe the pakistani taliban financed shahzad's training. what if the would-be bomber were affiliated with a different group, "los angeles times" reporting one man is a member of
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literally, army of mohammed. he spent time with shahzad when the times square suspect was in pakistan, although the revelation marks a time a specific group has been linked with this case. sources adding it does not necessarily mean the group engineered the plot. on this network this morning, saying shahzad is a new kind of terrorist. >> this learning enemy is now adjusting to the fact that if he does something very complicated that takes a long period of time, by in large we'll detect it and disrupt it. so what happened in times square this past weekend, what happened on christmas day is a new model. because al qaeda now nows, if they hug them too close too long we'll find out who they are. so what we have here for the new model are less complicated attacks, frankly attacks that would probably be less severe,
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attacks that are less skilled and therefore with a lower probability of success, but now here's the very bad part. probably a lot more numerous. >> let's turn now to msnbc terror analyst evan kohlmann. >> thanks for having me. >> they both seemed to be less than prepared. are we victims of our own success here? we've shut down the pros and we're dealing with the amateurs. >> al qaeda fired a bunch of cells at us, people trying to go after our sub systems, we had najibullah zazi here, any time you have a lot of training, communications and what not, that gets stopped. so al qaeda has made a conscious decision here they're going to start moving towards people whose only credential is the idea they have western passports or western citizenship or they're able to cross borders or they don't fit a profile. that's the new credential. the idea is if we don't invest a lot in these people we can just fire these people off like
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machine gun bullets. >> how do you defend against this? essentially there would be more long shot probable failure attempts, but as we said before, the stopped clock only has to be wrong once a day, not twice a day. how do you defend against amateurs? >> adapt to the recruitment methods. they used to be recruited in a mosque. they got recruited in a guest house in pakistan. they got recruited in a traditional house in pakistan. now it's changed. a lot of this is taking place on the internet. look at the five guys from d.c. picked up in pakistan. supposedly those five young americans who had no connection whatsoever to al qaeda, and were not all that sophisticated were drawn in by a representative of the pakistani taliban via youtube. this is someone who saw them active on youtube and said you guys should come join us. you know, if you're so interested in jihad videos, we can show you the real thing, and that's exactly what happened. >> general petraeus was on the
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air with andrea mitchell with this network today and he pointed out the counterinsurgency manual, if there is such a thing says you must learn the fastest, the one that does it prevails. how fast is counterterrorism adapting to this pick them out of a hat terrorist m.o.? >> slowly. the best example is what happened in late december. the united states, the cia thought they were about to get the location of osama bin laden, and what happened was their wonderful source turned out to be a double agent, someone recruited by the pakistani taliban to go kill cia agents and that's exactly what he did. they didn't take him seriously because they said this guy is just an internet jihadi. he's been recruited over the web. he can't be serious. he's 30 years old. he has two kids. he has a wife. he's a doctor. somebody like that doesn't become a terrorist. well guess what? the model has changed and we're not adapting fast enough.
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we're not seeing the communications methods and not seeing the recruitment methods before they become a real problem. >> last question about shahzad himself. he's talking to the point where they don't want to arraign him so they don't get him to stop talking. they can't stop him from talking. he left his keys for apparently his escape vehicle inside the car bomb, essentially. do you get any sense that on some level this man wanted to be stopped? >> well, let's put it this way. he certainly want the a-team. he engaged in activities that were beyond reckless. he was doing things exceptionally stupid. i think it's safe to say terrorists are not jesus, they're not rocket scientists. people who want to blow up themselves and other people are not always well schooled or sophisticated or know what they're doing. if you look at the najibullah zazi plot, whether it was the propane tank scare over the united kingdom, these guys crashed a car through the front
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of glasgow airport, set themselves on fire and started dancing around. how much sense does that take? the answer is terrorists are not always as smart as we might fear or we might anticipate. >> we can use that to our advantage and tamp down a little on our own fears without tamping down on our vigilance. >> good balance. >> if they leave the car keys, the escape keys in the bomb itself, that's a good sign -- >> that's better yet. >> thank you, kindly. evan kohlmann, msnbc counterterrorism analyst. >> thank you very much. >> for more on the shahzad pakistan connection, let's turn to steve clemons. good evening, steve. >> good evening, keith. >> for more on the shahzad/pack >> one of the motive for the attack, anger over the u.s. targeting taliban leaders in pakistan with drone attacks. is that going to affect u.s. policy in pakistan?
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>> i don't think it will affect the issue of using drone attacks, even though i think everyone from general mcchrystal to others have raised the question of the death of innocents is something that's causing a lot of anger. but of course baitullah massoud, people are say this was not a sophisticated guy and made all sorts of mistakes, is not hugely important if the pakistan taliban is connected to him in any way at all. previously the pakistan taliban just did not operate outside of its borders. it wanted to basically the afghan dimensions as well as what was going on in pakistan was very much within their borders. so this is the first incident of a, i think a real element of global jihadism that we may be seeing from how they feel pushed. >> all right. so let's continue to talk on this on a state to state basis because i think we talked about a lot of the terrorist cell
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possibilities or terror group possibilities with evan kohlmann. but does this suggest that the u.s. has a pakistan problem now? or is it we've had one all along and haven't been willing to acknowledge it or which? >> i think we've had a pakistan and afghanistan problem for a long time. we picked one side in what's become a civil war and we've pushed a number of the taliban up into pakistan, and i think pakistan is a very fragile situation. we have attended to approach these problems with 99.999% military tools while we keep talking about the need to reach out in other ways. and i think that we need to somehow begin to rethink this. but i do think pakistan is fragile, and you've got jihadists and angry people that somehow feel that they have -- they need to get us back and they're going -- i agree with mike hayden, that they'll try to reach out and hit us more frequently, maybe in more minor ways than we saw on 9/11 but it will be something we've got to deal with. >> and how do we deal with it? again, more state to state basis
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here, they're not going to negotiate with the taliban necessarily, but what does one government do relative to the sort of half government in pakistan? >> i think what's really interesting, which no one has raised, from may 10th to may 14th we have hamid karzai here from afghanistan and what is really lurking behind that summit effort is a try to reach out and begin figuring out a strategy for reconciling and dealing with some of the taliban chiefs in afghanistan. one wonders whether this attempt was in some way designed to pre-empt that effort -- i do think the issue that this did not disrupt, trying to find a strategy of at least bringing over and breaking up some of those structures that we now kind of morphed together in what is not, but is treated, like a monolithic taliban is important. >> steve clemons, author of "the washington note" blog as ever and inform tive, great thanks.
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another startling reality of this, if faisal shahzad had time he could have stopped off on the way to kennedy airport to the emirates flight he was trying to board and buy a gun or explosives. being on the no-fly list does not mean you're on the no buy gun or stuff you can blow people up with list. national car rental? that's my choice. because with national, i roll past the counter... and choose any car in the aisle. oh, buck chooses the blue one! [ male announcer ] go national. go like a pro. choosing your own car? now, that's a good call.
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this man stepped up big time today to underscore the other problem with the no-fly list. they're not also on a no sell them explosives or guns list. trying to put a face on the oil rig disaster? the correct one it proves is his. it's his katrina. once again, this man was the prophet of all the lunatic right wingers to come. first lonesome roads back and now a congressional candidate demanding racial profiling in tv ads. and it is hispanic heritage night in phoenix, also it's report an illegal day in arizona. you're watching "countdown" on msnbc. esters.
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in the apprehension of fizal shahzad a system that ultimately worked but could have worked better, in our fourth story, the government has made a strikingly simple change to the no-fly list. there are additional proposals to fix the system, some common sense cal some jarringly misdirected. today all airlines were ordered to check the no-fly list within two hours of receiving a notification that a high priority name had been added to
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the list. until today they were required to check for updates to the list only once every 24 hours. emirates airlines sold shahzad a ticket to pakistan seven hours after his name was added to the no-fly list. the proposal from chuck schumer and others of his colleagues would require that airlines flag to the tsa any passenger who pays cash for an airline ticket. but a different gap in security remains wide open. individuals on the terror list have the same right to buy guns and explosives as anyone else. calling it the terror gap, new york city mayor michael bloomberg asked congress to give the government the ability to block purchase of guns by suspected terrorists. shahzad was not placed on the list until monday but the mayor noted if the government places people on a no fly list and terror watch list, why not also prevent them from buying firearms while they're on the list? but in the hearing at capitol hill, the two senators on the panel, collins and graham, worried about the second amendment rights of law-abiding americans would be infringed.
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senator graham correctly noted that in the past eight years, 1228 people received background checks, 91% were allowed to proceed because there was no disqualifying legal factor. but to senator graham that meant too many lawful americans were on the terror watch list. >> the problem i have is that the watch list, when you look at the numbers, has so many problems with it that i think it's not appropriate to go down the road that we're going. because a constitutional right is involved. and before we subject innocent americans who have had done nothing but have the wrong name at the wrong time go to court and get their gun rights back, i want to slow down and think about this. >> he repeated his prior call to end another constitutional right with regard to terror suspects. >> i want to stop reading these
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guys their miranda rights. >> on that strange note, let's turn to msnbc political analyst, "huffing ton post" contributor. lawrence o'donnell, good evening. >> good to be here, keith. >> let me start with the head up the butt logic question. senator graham is willing to say a terror suspect should have his miranda rights suspected but somebody on a terror watch list should have the same rights as anybody else to buy a gun or some actually explosive that will blow up? >> well, what do you want here, keith? consistency? >> something. >> this is a united states senator, after all, and pandering is difficult, especially reactionary pandering in the aftermath of these kinds of tense events. and so lindsey graham, once again, got desperately lost in his wanderings around the constitution and what he feels like respecting in a given moment and what he feels like ignoring. it is -- it's been difficult for republicans on this subject
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since the obama presidency. they just -- consistency on this has been impossible for them. we saw it with the christmas day attempted bombing with the aircraft which was very comparable to the shoe bomber during the bush administration and suddenly we were supposed to treat this completely differently, according to republican doctrine which suddenly changed on the spot. so this one is about as funny and simple minded as it gets, to catch him on tape that close together, with conflicting thoughts is a particularly fun day in those senate hearings. >> related to this and at the top of the hour rachel will go into more depth on this, the proposal would strip citizenship from suspects in order to side step miranda. but a former bush official called that draconian and it wouldn't have affected shahzad because he was captured on u.s. soil. so what does senator lieberman think he'd be accomplishing, assuming he is thinking? >> well, in addition to draconian it does have the
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unfortunate condition of being utterly unconstitutional. the notion that as soon as you're suspected of a crime, a terrorist crime, we then strip your citizenship without any due process whatsoever, you know, to -- you cannot impose penalties until you've gotten to the end of the process. and so it's ridiculous. it's unconstitutional, and it is a typical lieberman move to try to redefine what it means to be tough on terror politically. so now we will have a dividing line of senators saying they're opposed to the lieberman idea and they can then be attacked by limbaugh and company as being soft on terror because they don't want to strip the citizenship immediately of someone who is suspected of being involved in one of these cases. and we will watch that one play out. >> the no-fly list, this idea that any high-priority name that is added to the no fly list should be checked within two hours by the airlines not every 24 hours. that sounds good but here's a question from a couple of
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moments before they decided to do this. they were only being asked to check the no-fly list every 24 hours? >> you can hear the laughing in silicon valley right now. they're not laughing every 24 hours. what's the two hours about? to run a computer program to check every single name within an airline's system against a particular name should take minutes. it should take a very short period of time. the two hours is almost a manual version of doing it for each plane as they go out. so of course that had to be speeded up, and what's interesting about it is this was a rule that the bush administration and keeping us safe, as they say, was perfectly content with. every single thing we're discovering wrong with this system was under the watch of george w. bush and dick cheney. i know now that we're in the second year of the obama presidency we're never allowed to reach back. but since the vice president insists this president makes us less safe it's interesting to discover in the ways they made us unsafe. >> there also seems to be common
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sense in this other rule here if somebody walks up with cash and tries to get on a flight across the country this gets a red flag, once again, are you surprised to find out that that did not automatically produce a red flag? >> it certainly should have. on american airlines now, you can't buy a ginger ale with cash, you have to have a credit card for everything you do inside the tube of the aircraft. but they'll let you get on if you throw down a bunch of hundred dollar bills at the counter. of course that one had to be fixed and there was nothing preventing tsa making it their own policy. even without anyone writing a law about it. >> lawrence oo'donnell, great thanks to you. >> thanks, keith. the newest gunk to float up in the gulf, this is dick cheney's katrina. less a tradition as old as time, another bear in a tree. larry, we just had the carpets cleaned. that was the pizza guy!
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while the right wing tries to pin the bp on the current administration, turns out this was actually dick cheney's katrina. first, tweets of the day. the bronze, on a dark, cloudy, rainy day, this appeared moments after the news that ernie harwell had passed away. ernie harwell's rainbow over target field in minnesota. just like we had one at tim russert's memorial service as it ended in washington two springs ago. our runner up, here's where to help nashville flood victims,
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and there it is, the tweet includes the link to handsonnashville. real easy. if you can, if you can help, help is what they need. and the tweet of the day, i'll bet we don't see massey ceo blankenship on that tv show "undercover boss." oh, that would not end happily. how about just seeing them on "cops?" let's play "oddball." we begin in oxnard, california. remember "the bear that drank too much?" might be him. after wandering his way into town, this 200 pound fellow caught the eye of local law
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enforcement, so it found the nearest cemetery and climbed up a tree. i can see where this is going. firefighters got the bear down with the aid of tranquilizer darts and a harness. bear was taken to a nearby fore toast reunite with his other bear family members. he thought he'd had a good story to tell them until he was reminded of his brother's last trip to the circus and that bear was okay. finally a television premiere, you'll be seeing a few new promos for this hour, starting tonight and clearly they could not get a good actor or somebody. we're living in the television age in which i don't have a long period of time to grab people's attention, so it's got to be a good tv show. visualy it is designed to be very, very attractive in this sense, other than obviously me. we assume that you're bringing some knowledge to the show. we assume that you're bringing some interest in the topic to the show, and our job is to add to your knowledge and add to your perspective on what you may
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already know about it factually. "countdown" with keith olbermann week nights on msnbc. can do i that again? good job, keep going ! you took my eggs ! it's an "egg management fee." what does that even mean ? egg management fee.
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the effort to label the gulf oil spill obama's katrina appears to have sputters, even though we'll explain the administration did allow bp to bypass environmental requirements, but there's a growing pool of evidence, saying nothing of the oil, suggesting a far more apt name for this spill, cheney's katrina. it was his interior department under ken salazar, reports "the washington post" today, that last year exempted bp from doing a detailed analysis of the environmental impact of drilling at the deepwater horizon sight as recently as april 9th bp was lobbying to expand exceptions. the exception was granted based on three reviews of the area done by mms that downplayed the prospect of the spill. so why cheney's katrina? his former company, halliburton,
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led by david lassar did the cementing to seal the deepwater well. halliburton claiming it finished cementing only 20 hours before the damn thing blew, just after they finished cementing this australian blew when well when it blew last year still called the montera spill. a government inquiry underway there but zeroing in on the cementing process. three years after the mms found 18 of the 39 blowouts from 1996 have been caused by bad cementing, a 20-year halliburton cementer who admitted screwing up in the australian spill, testified this march about his halliburton training. quote, have you been taught in, training or otherwise become aware that problems with cementing are the number one cause of blowouts? his answer? no, i wasn't aware of that. almost immediately after taking office, vice president cheney began meeting with more than 100 oil executives, compiling a wish list of things they wanted. one thing the industry did not
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want was mandatory acoustic switches. which can shut wells remotely when blowout preventers fail. the administration knew preventers fail because the mms found hundreds of incidents in which they did, but it reversed a clinton era decision calling for the backups calling them too costly. and a failsafe and the mms downplaying 2007 designed off by a wyoming republican who goes back almost 30 years with dick cheney to 1982 when he was an intern for dick cheney. let's turn now to the executive director of the nonprofit environmental group, the center for biological diversity. great thanks for your time tonight, sir. >> thanks for having me on. >> let's start with the role of the secretary of interior, ken salazar. how would an environmental impact statement made any difference to this gulf spill?
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>> well, if the department of interior had done a full environmental impact statement as it's required to do by law, the first thing it would have done was thrown out bp's drilling plan and sent it back to the drawing board. the plan is surreal, it is so lacking in details regarding safety and impacts on the environment. secondly, the department of interior would have had to have developed an environmentally preferred alternative, and lastly, it quite likely would have ended this whole process by choosing the no-action alternative, which is required in every eis, meaning it would have said we're not going to allow bp to drill. it's not safe enough. the agency has not developed a rational plan. >> doesn't the buck stop with the president to use the oldest of the cliches? anything the secretary of interior brings to the table, that is the president's choice, is it not? >> partially, yeah. i do think that obama's first
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mistake was in picking ken salazar for secretary of interior. i mean, salazar has a deep, deep connection to the offshore oil drilling industry, and since coming in as secretary of interior, he has done everything possible to push for more expansive offshore drilling. so yeah, he has culpability there. but i'll tell you what, the president is certainly not responsible for reviewing drilling plans in the gulf, he is not responsible for determining whether the laws are followed down there. that is ken salazar's job. when salazar came in, it was right after the drugs and sex with oil execs scandals. he said this is corrupt and i'm going to reform it. he pledged that on day one and didn't do it. i think the buck very much stops with ken salazar. >> in your eyes, who owns this more? we sing that song oh, this is
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obama's katrina or this is cheney's katrina. is one or the other closer to being the truth and ultimately does it matter? >> well, i do think it matters, because the answer to that question leads you to what is the solution. obviously they both do. i mean, i think cheney's left a legacy of corrupt officials throughout this agency has made the agency incapable of acting properly, incapable of being independent. but you know what? cheney's not going to change. he's old news. obama can. and i think if we recognize that obama erred in putting salazar in charge of this agency, with deep, deep ties to the oil industry, and second he erred in listening to salazar in opening up the atlantic coast, the eastern gulf coast of mexico and the arctic in alaska to new offshore oil drilling, that was a mistake.
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the good news is the president can reverse course. we're early in that process. he can do that. he can reform the minimal management service and frankly he can ask ken salazar to step down in the wake of this crisis. so there's a lot of opportunities for the president to fix what's going on out there. kieran suck ling with the center for biological impact. thanks for coming on. >> thanks for having me on. the basketball team celebrating hispanic heritage night on report on illegal day. reverend al sharpton is there and will join us from the protest site. no, not a kids in the hall sketch from 1994. this would be a would-be republican congressman's new ad. tea time approaches. and when rachel joins you, jim demint and the tea party movement sputtering. not one victory in yesterday's state primaries. you're laughing.
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limbaugh says guess what? faisal shahzad is a registered democrat. guess what? he's not. and no that isn't your water coming to a boil, it's the something for nothing crowd, it's tea time. peg donemyer is the tea party candidate in florida, alan grayson's seat but i'm thinking not for long. an ex-airline pilot named dan fin nelly has cut to the chase. his ads advocate racial profiling at airports. >> does this look like a terrorist or this? it's time to stop this political correctness and the invasion of our privacy. let's face it. if the good-looking ripped guy without much hair was flying airplanes into the twin towers, i'd have no problem being pulled out of line at the airport. >> wait. who's the good-looking ripped guy? oh, ripped as if, you know, he sounds completely ripped, get him away from open flames? he went on to explain, if the
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people that were doing this kind of thing looked like me, even though i'm not the guy doing the terrorist thing i would want to be examined more closely. by his logic, any time a body turns up in a river or landful in new york, mr. finellie would have the police interrogate everyone of italian ancestry. oh, that's right, they used to do that 100 years ago. fortunately he has offered us a little comic relief from his racist madness. >> this is an airplane. and this is a terrorist. send me to washington and get rid of that bum alan grayson and i'll make sure guys like this get nowhere near things like this. >> um, dan, don't you think they probably stopped that dude because he's wearing that duct tape over his mouth? and please, right wingers, anybody else out there, stop
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channeling dave foley. >> don't think i'm unaware of the fact that kevin mcdonald or should i say ivan chovski is one of you. >> he's crazy! >> crazy like a fanatic fox, i mean. >> damn i hope foley's gettin residuals. since arthur's been eating purina one, he has blossomed...
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arizona's pro basketball team strikes back. the phoenix suns wearing their los suns uniforms tonight on cinco de mayo. which is also report an illegal day in america's hateland. that's next. here are tonight's worst persons in the world, the bronze by pat roberts of kansas and john cowherd denying they ever used the slogan drill, baby drill. the slogan was, what, two, three years ago. basically we had opposition to it years ago. i think there was a candidate that used that. i think our phrase, drill here, drill now, meaning here in the united states and as quickly as oil and gas leases are going. funny, wasn't that a u.s. senator who told a crowd, chanting drill, baby, drill, quote, you're right, pal. drill, baby, drill. and when another u.s. senator tried to use the version in a debate, isn't that bendy straw sarah who tut-tutted him? >> drill, baby drill. >> senator kyl, senator roberts, either the republican chant was drill baby drill or mccain and pail be weren't republicans. your choice. second tonight, rupert. he was asked about beck, particularly when murdoch claimed president obama had said
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something racist. an analyst asked about the exist of advertisers and viewers of the show. they asked how long fixed news would keep beck's show, quote, filmed with house ads. i'm not subsidizing the show at all, murdoch bristled. it's doing a terrific kickoff for the whole evening schedule. keep your tongue in your head when you're talking about the good captain. arr. nearly a third of the audience abandoned him. fox whispered explanation is that's because of daylight savings time. rupert, that's the best you can make up?
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but our winner, rush limbaugh, utter a critical conclusion then check to see if there's any factual basis whatsoever. guess what? faisal shahzad is a registered democrat. i wonder if this suv had an obama sticker on it. the offices in bridgeport connecticut confirmed with a search that took moments that he was not a registered voter, let alone registered with any party. limbaugh just made it up. so while it looks like he's a terrorist we now, rush limbaugh is a fraud, fake, liar, buffoon, hypocrite, shyster, wind bag, reactionary, phony and worst of all he's just rush limbaugh. today's worst person in the world. > the basketball playoff i got into one of the best schools in the country!
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[ both screaming ] i got into one of the most expensive schools in the country! [ male announcer ] when stress gives you heartburn with headache... alka-seltzer gives you relief fast. [ low male ] plop, plop. [ high male ] fizz, fizz. alka-seltzer gives you relief fast. ♪ [ pop ] ♪ i think i'll walk this way with the trees ♪fect day ♪ i do sing [ man announcing ] the hybrid for everyone is here. the insight-- designed and priced for us all. from honda. ss: so word's gettin' out that on motorcycle insurance, rv, geiccamper, boat insurance. nice work, everyone. exec: well, it's easy for him. he's a cute little lizard. gecko: ah, gecko, actually - exec: with all due respect, if i was tiny and green and had a british accent i'd have more folks paying attention to me too...
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i mean - (faux english accent) "save money! pip pip cheerio!" exec 2: british? i thought you were australian. gecko: well, it's funny you should ask. 'cause actually, i'm from - anncr: geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. that's my choice. because with national, i roll past the counter... and choose any car in the aisle. oh, buck chooses the blue one! [ male announcer ] go national. go like a pro. choosing your own car? now, that's a good call.
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the basketball playoff schedule says it is phoenix versus san antonio tonight at the us airways arena in phoenix. in fact, it is los suns versus report an illegal day. in our number one story, the phoenix suns become los suns to celebrate cinco de mayo in arizona while 1070 protesters go on and others protest the protest. reverend al sharpton joins us from there in a moment. the suns have worn these jerseys twice before but never before in protest. the team's owner saying the shirt change was to, quote, honor our latino community and the diversity of our league, the state of arizona, and our
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nation. suns players voted unanimously in favor of the swift. steve nash telling reporters yesterday, i think the law is very misguided. at the white house, the president observed cinco de mayo with a rose garden address calling for comprehensive immigration reform and acknowledging the basketball game tonight. >> i know a lot of you would rather be watching tonight's game. the spurs against los suns from phoenix. >> a j.t. ready sees cinco de mayo a little differently. his neonazi group has been handing out in phoenix flyers calling for residents to make may 5th report an illegal day. ready says his group's numbers are swelling, thanks to sb 1070, the show us your papers law
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introduced by senator russell pearse. this photo taken in june of 2007 from the new times website, that's mr. ready on one side and mr. pearse on the other. in 2006 he was caught sending a separatist e-mail and was forced to apologize. reverend al sharpton joins us in front of the arena where los suns are joining us tonight. thanks for your time tonight. >> thank you. >> do people in arizona realize just who has been writing and introducing these laws, the backgrounds of these guys? >> we're certainly saying that to them loud and clear, and i think you've done america and arizona a favor by exposing it and showing the photos. it's certainly not disputed now when you have this guy embracing people like this, when you can talk about what he sent out to his constituents that he's had to apologize for. he's the author of this legislation that clearly leads to racial profiling, which is
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why on this day, cinco de mayo, many of us are here from around the country to march into the state capitol, to a state vigil tonight as we leave the arena saluting the suns for standing up and doing what they've done with the jerseys tonight. >> you called on president obama to intervene and today he called for work on immigration reform to start this year. is that a good enough first step? what are you expecting from him? >> i think that's a good first step and i think that what people want is to see, first of all, the law abided by. that is the federal government sets immigration policy. immigration policy cannot become states' rights, and what arizona's trying to do is set immigration policy, set it in a way that would sanitize and make racial profiling law, and then other states would follow likewise. i think what the president said today was putting that on notice, raising it backwards, and we hope it moves over.
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>> the quickest way to actually get to the heart of the matter, do you think that applies here? because pressure on and from the national football league was the last straw in many respects in erasing arizona's resistance to martin luther king day 20-odd years ago. could basketball or football or the baseball all-star game next year actually be a key in this? >> it could be very key. in fact, that's why tonight when we go back to march past the arena to the state capitol some of us will be wearing the jerseys that the suns are wearing tonight inside the arena. we will be calling on the commissioner selig to say that the all-star game from the major league baseball cannot come to phoenix if this law stands, in the next rally, we will have at major league baseball headquarters. we think sports can play a critical role here particularly when many players could be profiled if they come to the state if this law takes effect. >> the polling in arizona,
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although there were two city councils now approved lawsuits against the state, against sb 1 70, contrast that from the los suns you just came from. >> when you look at the number are the people saying it's wrong, you have these athletes saying it's wrong, and then small groups like the nazi group that say the numbers are swelling and the swelling is very few people, i think that you're seeing a lot of people that are being given misinformation that don't understand this law is un-american, it undermines the constitution, and i think that's why actiists have to stay out here and make sure that we correct the public's misperception, that this is about opening the borders. this is not about opening the borders, this is about protecting american citizens, legal american citizens from being profiled and treated differently from other american citizens. >> perfectly said. the reverend al sharpton, thank you very much. >> thank you.
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>> that's "countdown" for this, the 2,561st day since the previous president declared mission accomplished in iraq. i'm keith olbermann. good night and good luck. and now the downcast long face of senator jim demint after the tea party pulled an oh-fer in the various state primaries yesterday. ladies and gentlemen, back from her sojourns, here's rachel maddow. good evening. >> good evening.
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